Paris, 2016-02

28 May
 

Paris, 2016-02

Paris, 2016-02

Paris is a city for walking … and walking … and … At least it is so for Arnie and me. With a strike on in Paris that promises to shut down all transportation, it is a good thing. It will not affect us!

Our destination is an art exhibit of Nick Brandt’s work at A Gallerie http://a-galerie.fr/en/?page=14-0/paris-exhibition-photo-gallery across the river in the 16th (arrondissement, or section of Paris).

But we are in no hurry and walk along the river, taking in the sights. I am struck by the light and repeating patterns under one of the bridges.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 02

A young woman enjoys the sun while listening to music and checking her messages.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 02

It turns out that by the time we get to the gallery, it is closed for lunch, so we do the same. There is a café just down the street, and we enjoy a relaxing couple of hours there, sipping wine, eating our soups and salads, and joking with our young waiter who is saving up to travel to the US. He thinks Arnie looks like George Lucas, and we tell him he looks like a young Barack Obama. We joke that Arnie is here for casting, and our young friend looks perfect for the part.

It is time to head back to the gallery, and we are struck by the stunning prints, yet, because of what they represent, they are also very disturbing. Those who know Nick Brandt’s work know that he has been photographing the animals in Africa for decades, that he sells his prints for large sums, and a good portion of that money goes to hiring his own rangers to combat the terrible poaching that has seen every bull elephant he has ever photographed dead. It is a travesty, and Brandt is doing everything he can to combat it.

The project, Inherit the Dust, has huge prints of Brandt’s set in a devastated area where that particular animal used to roam. Horizons are lined up, but a lion may be lying on a huge pile of trash, some elephants may be under a large viaduct, a giraffe is set in a landscape of backhoes with long necks, the stripes of a zebra are echoed in the back of a dump truck and the train coming toward the viewer, other animals are set in an extensive quarry. Again, both stunning and disturbing, and certainly a testament to what man can do to our environment and precious resources.

On the way back, we stop off at The Louvre and enjoy the cool breeze by the reflecting pools around the I.M. Pei pyramids. Hawkers sell their cheap, tinny Eiffel Towers and others sell bottles of water. And we must not forget those obnoxious selfie sticks that they try to sell us, even though to us, it is clear that those things are not appropriate for our cameras.

As we walk into the Louvre courtyard, we are struck by a round, metal sculpture building. We cannot figure out what it is, but the reflections of the Louvre remind me of Gaudi’s work. © 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 02

The plaque on the ground says the work is by Eva Jospin and is titled “Panorama.” We learn from a French lady that it contains a panorama and that it is worth investigating. And so we do. The outside of the piece is steel, and the inside three-dimensional woods sculpted out of cardboard and glue. Fascinating.

We cross back over Pont des Arts and see the amazing sculptures during the day. One steel damsel sports long horns and glitters in the sun.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 02

On the Rue de Seine are a lot of galleries, and we pop into a few along the way.

We end up at a little restaurant just around the corner from our flat that is clearly a local hang-out. The staff is great, and we enjoy the repartee. We see a worker back in the kitchen area and learn that that bank of little drawers to the left of the window houses napkins and napkin rings from long-time customers. There are 50 in all, the oldest one belonging to an 87-year-old gentleman who comes every Sunday for dinner and has had his little drawer since 1968.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 02

Another man, clearly a regular, leans up against the bar in a relaxed manner in the other room.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 02

Our waitress gets ready to bring us a bottle of Chateau Margaux Boston. The staff is all amused that my name is Margo and that I was born in Boston. © 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 02

For our part, we are amused that she has taken down our order on the paper tablecloth cover, and when we are done, she tears it off and goes into the other room to total everything up. © 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 02

Because we have all had so much fun with the staff, the owner pours us little shots of something that shall remain nameless.

We have walked over seven miles today and what seems like a gazillion steps, so we are happy to return to our flat. Everyone sleeps quickly.

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Paris, 2016-01

27 May
 

Paris, 2016-01

Paris, 2016-01

Paris is in my blood. Perhaps because my English Granny and dad lived here back in the 20s, both studying music at Fontainbleau.

I first came here in 1962, I think, and I fell in love with the city then. Of course, it has changed a lot since those many years ago, but it is still the City of Light/Lights, with Bouquinistes selling their second-hand books out of green boxes along the Seine as they have for decades, cafes dotting various little streets and corners, lovely parks, both large and small where people read their papers, take a stroll, or just people watch, and that amazing architecture.

It is good to be back. We are here with two other couples, and a third coming in early June. All are alumni who have become good friends. It is very special.

Our flight was delayed from Prague because, we think, of the oil workers striking. We didn’t get details of why it affected us.

We went to our flat on a quiet street in the 6th arrondissement, otherwise known as St. Germain de Pres, and enjoyed a bottle of wine that one of the couples had procured upon their earlier arrival.

After catching up on recent travels a bit, it was time to get a bite to eat. One couple was on US time, and the other two were tired from a long day of travel.

Arnie and I have several favorite restaurants, so we walked to one, and the maître d recognized us from previous years. Arnie splurged on a nice bottle of Chateau Margeaux that we all enjoyed, and for “food porn,” as two of our friends at home call it, we offer Arnie’s Sea Bass and my Tartare de Boeuf. Both were delicious.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 01© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 01

It was lovely sitting outside, enjoying the excellent service, and sharing wine and good conversation.

No one felt like going back to our flat right away, so we walking along the river, first passing by pont Napoléon, or the Napoleon Bridge, also known as the National Bridge, the “N” clearly visible on façade. © 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 01

Looking back, Notre Dame stood sentry on the other side of the river. © 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 01

Arnie and I have always loved Pont des Arts. It is a pedestrian bridge that was the site of lovers placing padlocks on the railings and professing undying love by throwing the keys in the river. Alas, the weight of these locks actually threatened to damage the integrity of the bridge, so they were all removed, and last year, some very unattractive, painted, plexiglass was put up instead.

This year, thankfully, they redesigned the railings, and there is now clear plexi, so one can enjoy the views up and down river.

This year, there was also a sculpture exhibit, and this caught my eye. Certainly as spooky as the gargoyles atop Notre Dame and other cathedrals! © 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Paris, Day 01

It was past bedtime for us all, so we returned to our flat and all sunk into blissful oblivion.

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Prague, Day 4

27 May
 

Prague, Day 4

Prague, Day 4

Ahhh, our last day in Prague. After breakfast, we headed across the river again, no particular destination in mind, except maybe to check the John Lennon wall again as well as the funicular up to one of the high points in the city.

We ducked into a little side alley and found this charming flower shop.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Prague, Day 4

The proprietor was busy preparing greens for bouquets.© 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Prague, Day 4

By staying on the little side streets and alleys, we also stayed away from the tours, led invariably by someone with an umbrella raise on high! Every city has them, but it is also easy to s avoid them for the most part.

Back at the wall, people were writing their sentiments. One of our friends told us that aside from the controversy in decades past over this wall, the Prague government tried to stop the writing on the wall by forbidding people to stand on Czech soil while writing. The French Embassy is right across the little courtyard, and they own a two-foot wide strip by the wall and gave anyone permission to stand there and write or paint to their heart’s content. © 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Prague, Day 4

After lunch along one of the little canals, and more photography, of course, we ended back on Old Town Square. © 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Prague, Day 4

One of the drivers of the carriages had a wonderful face and backlit white hair. © 2016 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.  Prague, Day 4

And a group of acrobats entertained the crowd. At one point, they gathered Continue reading